Fernando Alonso jokes of drastic consequences that made him snub Max Verstappen overtake

Thomas Maher
Max Verstappen, Red Bull driver, holds off Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso at Zandvoort.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull driver, holds off Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso at Zandvoort.

Fernando Alonso has joked he would have been held prisoner at Zandvoort had he overtaken Max Verstappen at the Dutch GP.

Alonso became the main threat to Max Verstappen during the race at Zandvoort, having moved up to second following a late mistake from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Having applied pressure to Verstappen on the opening lap in the increasingly wet conditions, Alonso was able to eye up Verstappen again during the closing laps following the red flag, but joked he didn’t think about making a move due to the Dutch driver’s home popularity.

Fernando Alonso: I trusted my Aston Martin throughout

With Alonso returning to the podium with his second-place finish after a tough run of races during the mid-season, the Spaniard explained that he had felt at one with his AMR23 in the tricky conditions as the weather changed from dry to wet and back again.

“It was a very intense race, obviously at the beginning with the wet conditions, we were very, very fast,” he said.

“We stopped maybe one lap too late, but the same as the leaders. The car was flying today, very competitive, very easy to drive.

“So, in these conditions, you need a car that you can trust. And I did trust the car a lot today.”

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With Alonso enjoying the cheers of the Dutch fans turned out for Verstappen, the Spaniard said he never thought he’d get the chance to savour the atmosphere of the festival-like event at Zandvoort.

“I did enjoy, thanks to all the fans for the energy that we get here in Zandvoort – it is very unique,” he said.

“Two years ago, when this race came [onto the calendar], I thought I would never experience the Zandvoort podium because I was not in the position to think about that.

“Today, it’s gonna be very special to share the podium with Max and Pierre.”

Fernando Alonso opted against making a move on Max Verstappen

With Alonso having been in position to apply the pressure on the home hero in the closing laps, Alonso joked that he knew he’d never have escaped Zandvoort had he actually overtake Verstappen to take the lead and deprive him of the win.

“It is one of those races that is difficult to concentrate, and stay focused for such a long period of time,” he said.

“As I said, I think this a really special racetrack with all the fans and the energy going on. So you feel always very focused.

“I did think about trying to move on the last restart, but then I thought maybe I can’t exit the circuit, so I stayed calm in second!”

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